Feb. 13th


Thirty year-old Zaida Zoller was appalled by the condition of the horses in a circus travelling through the area in 1912, and had the owners arrested and the horses confiscated. On this date, through her work and strong public reaction, the Herkimer County Humane Society was incorporated.


Born in Little Falls of Italian immigrant parents, John J. Riccardo, former President of Chrysler Corporation (1970-1975) and Chairman & CEO (1975-1979) died in Birmingham, Michigan. Active at LFHS, John was a World War II veteran, and graduated with degrees in economics at the University of Michigan. He quickly rose through the ranks at Chrysler.

Feb. 14th


The first house and store in Little Falls, was the home of Mr. John Porteous, commonly known as the “Yellow House” situated  on lots 12 and 13 of the Burnetsfield Patent. It also became the first hotel in Little Falls. Past its doors on Sixth Street, near Furnace Creek, went the stages on their way to and from Albany and Utica, and at its table the hungry traveler’s appetite was satisfied.


A mass meeting was held at Temperance Hall regarding the canal enlargement project at which J. N. Lake gave a rousing speech in favor of the project indicating what it could do for the growth of the village. The next day the Little Falls vote was 504 for and 75 against. State-wide the vote was 185,000 for and 60,000 against.


The affairs of the old Herkimer County National Bank were closed up after an existence of over fifty years. The dissolution was due to the desire of the stockholders to increase its capital stock, and in order to do so a new bank, National Herkimer County Bank, had to be organized. The 1833 building is now the home of the Little Falls Historical Society.


A St. Valentine’s  day storm dropped a  blanket of snow, and together with 32 below zero weather, all but paralyzed transportation and business in Little Falls. Firemen fought three  blazes during the storm. Trains were stalled for four hours.


Bronner’s Garage at 7 West Lansing Street advertised for sale the following automobiles: Model 90 Touring – $985, Model 90 Country Club – $1145, Model 89 Touring, 6 cylinder, 7 passenger – $1625, and Model 88 Willys Knight Touring, 8 cylinder – $2750. They are also distributors of Republic trucks and Case tractors.


The Mohawk Valley Flying Service was formed in Little Falls by Wells Davy and Maynard Seymour. Seymour Field was just west of the city on the flats across from the Mohawk Valley Country Club.


A natural gas explosion and subsequent fire, felt as far away as Ilion and St. Johnsville, leveled two homes and badly damaged several others on the south side of West Main Street in Little Falls. Three people received minor injuries and were treated at area hospitals, and seven families were affected by the fire. Windows were shattered throughout the city.

Feb. 16th


Herkimer County was formed. It extended to the St. Lawrence and Lake Erie, until other counties were set up. Its east line was at the beginning of the rapids which separated Little Falls. In 1817 Manheim and Danube were added to Herkimer County.


Considerable excitement is now on as it is reported a case of smallpox is in our village.


Grand Knight G. Gerald Fiesinger announced the sale of the Knights of Columbus Home which will be razed for a new office building. The K of C has secured new quarters over Walach’s Men & Boy’s store, on Main Street.


Little Falls natives, and brother and sister duo, Raymond Goldstone and Ann Marcus (Dorothy Goldstone) won the Writers Guild of America award for their writing for the daytime TV series “Search for Tomorrow.” They had also been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for “Days of Our Lives” in 1978 and 1979. They passed away in California in 2008 and 2014.

Feb. 18th


George H. Feeter, born in Little Falls in 1789 and admitted to the bar in 1811 when Little Falls became a village, died today. He was an agent for the Ellice Estate, District Attorney from 1825 to 1828, a defense lawyer in the famous Nat Foster murder trial in 1834, and village president from 1849 to 1850 when Little Falls became known as “Rockton.”


The wonders of Edison’s “Projectoscope” were exhibited at the Skinner Opera House. There were 14 views, one an express train, which appears to be rushing down upon the audience. Admission was 25 cents; children 15 cents.


J. D. Frederiksen, cheese industry icon, inventor, author and manager of the Chr. Hansen Laboratories in Little Falls, died in Florida. Born and educated in Denmark, Mr. Frederiksen came to Little Falls in 1879. Very active in the community, he helped establish the Pine Crest tuberculosis sanatorium in Salisbury. He will be buried in Church Street Cemetery.

Feb. 19th


Standard Oil magnates from New York City are now absolute owners of the gas and electric plants in this city and surrounding communities. Representatives of the company gathered in the options for the purchase of the plants with money appearing to be no object.


Little Falls has too many dogs! Many complaints of savage dogs roaming the community have reached the police, and Chief Long has said he would get a Gatling gun and organize a dog extermination expedition. The Common Council was asked to appoint a dog catcher. Possibly one in each ward.


The Cheney Hammer Company, a fixture in Little Falls since 1854, was sold to the Collin Company of Collinsville, Connecticut. All the machinery was removed and sent to the Connecticut facility.  The company had made a line of hammers for carpenters, machinists, and miners that were considered the best in the world.

This Week in History” is brought to you by the Little Falls Historical Society. Please Visit the Little Falls Historical Society Website and please consider supporting the Museum by becoming a Member. Download the membership form here!